Friday, September 08, 2023


James Mangold (FORD VS FERRARI, LOGAN) directs the fifth instalment of the beloved INDIANA JONES franchise as if he's making a dated greatest hits compilation.  Indy battling evil Nazis (Mads Mikelsen), check.  Indy in a dusty desert town in a rickety vehicle outrunning the bad guys, check. Indy helping out a bumbling but super-smart British archeologist (Toby Jones), check. Indy hunting down a MacGuffin with supernatural spooky powers, check. Indy with a short, precocious ethnic minority sidekick, check. Indy pining over Marian, check. 

The problem is that as much as I love those early Indy movies, cinema thrills have moved on since then.  So when we now see an old grumpy Indy and his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) outrunning the bad guys in a tuk tuk it feels low pace and lacklustre, especially in a summer when we watched Tom Cruise basically do the same thing, way better, in a Fiat in Rome.  Worst of all, I was expecting some witty banter between Indy and Helena to paper over the weaksauce action scenes but even that didn't happen. This is a script singularly lacking in zip!

To be frank, you'd be better off just watching the original trilogy for Indy 1.0, and then flipping over to Apple TV to see modern day grumpy Harrison Ford do his comedy thing in Shrinking.  This film is well-made in its nuts and bolts but has zero charisma, fun, or novelty.

INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY has a running time of 154 minutes and is rated PG-13. It opened in June 2023 and is now available to rent and own.

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